Pakistani media mogul granted bail in 3 decade-old land allotment case

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to the owner of the country’s leading media house, the Jang Group, after eight months he was arrested in a three decades-old land allotment case.

Mir Shakilur Rehman, the owner of Jang Group of Newspapers, which includes Geo TV, was arrested on March 12 by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the eastern city of Lahore in a case related to a land he allegedly acquired illegally in the tenure of then chief minister of Punjab, Nawaz Sharif, 34 years ago.

The court granted Rehman bail against a surety bond of Rs 10 million.

The Lahore High Court had earlier denied bail to Rehman, after which he had appealed in the Supreme Court.

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The NAB alleged that Rehman was given 54 plots of land in Lahore’s Jauhar Town phase-II by then Punjab chief minister Sharif in 1986 in violation of the relevant laws.

However, after hearing the argument, the top court accepted the bail application.

Rehman’s arrest was widely condemned by rights bodies and media groups and those linked with his media outlets had been regularly protesting against the prolonged detention.

They alleged that he was a victim of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vendetta, who before elections often alleged that Rehman and his media were supporting former prime minister Sharif.

Sharif, who is in London since last one year, is also facing corruption charges in the case and is accused of misusing his power when he was chief minister of Punjab province in 1986.

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